There is tremendous respect for Martin O’Neill and for the great work he has done at Aston Villa but the key to this season for Aston Villa is will they be able to build upon the excellent work of last season and improve further or will Martin O’Neill’s side fail to live up to expectations and fail under the pressure.
Despite having a poor finish to last season, Aston Villa had a fantastic season and the fact they had a major chance of achieving Champions League football illustrates how good they where for the majority of the season.
Martin O’Neill is a great believer in team spirit and team ethics and there are no outstanding superstars within the Aston Villa side, but what they do possess is a group of players who give maximum commitment and believe in each other whilst being willing to play very positive football and that has to be commended.
Where major doubts remain about Aston Villa is the obvious lack of depth of experience and quality within the squad and that has only been made worse by the exit of their inspirational captain, Gareth Barry, who has been their best players for years.
Another massive loss will be the retirement of influential defender Martin Laursen and he will need replacing to make sure the defensive unit does not become weakened.
Aston Villa possess talented players with the likes of John Carew, Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlohar and Emile Heskey, but they lack depth and quality in all the key areas and Martin O’Neill needs to make several important moves in the transfer market to bolster the Aston Villa squad and maintain their recent progress.
Stewart Downing has been signed which should prove to positive in time, once he has recovered from injury, as it will add further attacking quality, but the lack of positive transfer activity at Aston Villa must be concerning for their fans and it casts doubt with regards to what they can achieve this forthcoming season.
Martin O’Neill is an experienced manager who will endeavour to produce beyond expectations yet again and will give the Aston Villa squad the confidence and belief they need. But whether the squad is strong enough to match last year